Things were plugging along quite nicely this weekend. I had finished all my feathers and had a good layout all sketched out. I went back to the store to get 5 more yards of Kona Bone to fill in all the negative space in my rows (those are some TALL rows at 18.5"!), done all my prewashing and cutting and was happily sewing and ironing away. It was shaping up to be the largest quilt I've ever done - queen sized!! - and I was feeling pretty darn proud.
Half of the quilt top was done and I was optimistic that it would be done by the early afternoon and my only worry would be the great quilting dilemma. And with the iron still in my hand and the top spread out in the bright sunlight from the ONE window in our apartment that lets in lots of good natural light, it all came to a screeching halt.
Some bad words were uttered as I sprinted the entire top outside to see it in the natural light.
Can't see the problem? Let me zoom in for you and drop down the lighting a bit...
Still a little muddy? Allow me to turn into Dateline for a second and pull out my fancy UV light through photoshopping...
Spots and splotches. Bright white (in natural light) on my Kona bone background fabric. A few smaller spots within my feather blocks, but the largest and most obvious culprits were on the larger strips at the beginning and ends of my rows. At first I wondered if it was some kind of starch residue or something from my Best Press (didn't seem likely) or possibly something going wrong from my iron. I still had some big pieces that hadn't been ironed or cut yet - but they had white splotches too.
Unless it was some majorly bad problem with the dye lot right off the bolt (again not likely), something bad had happened when I prewashed. I never use bleach in my machine, but that's exactly what my fabric looked like - someone had splashed bleach all over it. When I posted the problem onto a modern quilting group online, someone suggested that some detergents with nonbleach whitening agents can lift the color out of tan/beige color dyes if it sits on the fabric undiluted while the machine fills with water. It seems like that must have been what happened but it's never something that has happened with clothing or fabric before.
Blerg. It's really something that you do have to look for to see...but of course once you know it's there, that's all you can see. I can't believe that I missed it while I was cutting, but I've been doing a lot of cutting at night when the kids are in bed under my kitchen's fantastic fluorescent lights where the splotches are virtually invisible. Granted, this is a quilt for ME so it's not like I'm accountable to anyone else for any mistakes or imperfections, but what a stinking disappointment!!
So here's the NEW dilemma...obviously I'm going back to the store to buy some new unspotted Bone. Do I simply worry about finishing the top half and moving on (and hoping that no one else notices the bottom splotches once it's all done) or do I go back and rip out the pieces that have spots so that I'm not going forward with something that bothers me? I'm leaning towards ripping them out, but am all ears as to what YOU would do. Help!